NFL Free Agency Rumors: Raiders To Sign Marcus Mariota As Backup Quarterback
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the coronavirus pandemic that has stopped most of professional sports in its tracks, the NFL continues to churn on as the league’s legal tampering free agency period kicked off on Monday.

Several blockbuster moves were made within the first hours, most notably the Arizona Cardinals landing star receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans in exchange for running back David Johnson and draft picks.

For the Las Vegas Raiders, they were able to address one of their needs on the defensive side of the field by signing former Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. The middle of the field was a liability for the Raiders during the 2019 NFL season and signing Kwiatkoski was a solid first move to address that hole.

Now it appears that Las Vegas is shoring up their backup quarterback position as Mike Garafolo of NFL Network is reporting that the team is nearing a deal to land former Tennessee Titans signal-caller Marcus Mariota:

Mariota’s contract is a two-year deal and will have some incentives built in:

Mariota, who was benched during the 2019 season for Ryan Tannehill, has long been rumored to be a target for Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and it appears he and Jon Gruden will get their guy. The former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall pick may have lost his starting job with the Titans, but he is still worth a flier given his age and the rest of the quarterback market.

Of course, a move like this will raise some eyebrows about Derek Carr’s job status, but it is safe to assume that Mariota is just insurance in the event that the former suffers any kind of injury during the year. Although Carr played every game last year, it is always good to have a capable backup in the event of a disaster and Mariota fits the bill.

Additionally, Mariota could perhaps push Carr if he struggles the same way that Tannehill did for him last season.

With the second-string quarterback position locked up, the Silver and Black can now continue filling out other positions on the roster.